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Comcast to start selling Verizon mobile early 2012

The offices and studios of Comcast Entertainment Group is pictured in Los Angeles
The offices and studios of Comcast Entertainment Group is pictured in Los Angeles

NEW YORK - NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, will start selling Verizon Wireless products in four markets early next year, its top cable executive said on Monday.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc and Bright House Networks last week said they had reached a deal to sell wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion in a transaction that will also see Verizon sell cable products and the cable companies bundle Verizon wireless products.

Neil Smit, president of Comcast Cable, said his company will continue to compete with Verizon Wireless' parent Verizon Communications Inc in markets where it offers its FiOS TV and Internet service.

Time Warner Cable, too, plans to start selling existing Verizon products in bundled packages almost immediately, said Chief Financial Officer Irene Esteves, who, like Smit, was speaking at a UBS investor conference.

But Time Warner Cable's Esteves said it was too soon predict what specific new products it could bring to market with Verizon, or when those products could be available.

Cable companies have previously partnered with wireless companies Sprint Nextel and Clearwire Corp. Smit said Comcast would begin to wind down its customer relationships with those companies but it would retain its 9 percent equity stake in Clearwire "for the foreseeable future".

Verizon Wireless is co-owned by Verizon and Vodafone.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Paul Thomasch, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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